Everett :: Senior

I feel like there should be a slow drizzle happening this morning. A calm pattering of rain or, preferably, snow flakes against my newly-trimmed office window. The weekend was a great one, as weekends filled with awesome friends, family birthdays and hours of pie baking should be, and today I feel content and a touch-bit lazy. Like a lay on the couch in the middle of the day and curl up with a good book or a great movie {or both!} kind of day. Monday. Love and hate. Every week.

In other news, we watched the original Ocean’s Eleven last night. Circa 1960, featuring the Rat Pack and a few other choice actors, I thought the movie was hilariously excellent. Old movies crack me up. However, I seem to be missing the link between the original and the 2001 remake featuring George Clooney and Brad Pitt. Anyone? But, seriously, how smooth is Sammy Davis Jr.? I would have rocked in that era. Give me a bit of soulful jazz any day of the week…

Eee O Eleven?! Ugh, you’re killing me, smalls!

;-)

Back to the task at hand.

While I long for sunshine, long walks outside in the warm breeze, gardening and the smells of earth, I’m enjoying the slowness of this season. Long coffee-drinking mornings, hours of folding laundry while the temperature steadily declines outside, the constant hum of the office space heater. Thick socks. Day dreams. Low-key stations on Pandora. Brisk walks with the pup before surrendering to the weather and cuddling inside again.

Plus, I get to reminisce of better weather days with sessions like this…

Sessions that I’ve only shared bits and pieces of.

Because I like to hog them all to myself.

He’s one of my favorites. And, therefore, so are his images.

Born of collaborative think-tank between him, me and his mother {and some good points from my dad}; the Reading Tree.

 

**

And then things got interesting.

After shooting for hours, taking a break for delicious burgers, we continued to throw ideas back and forth.

We came up with these.

I like it.

A lot.

**

Emily - January 26, 2015 - 1:35 pm

Magical! And oh how I love that little homage to Seattle :-)

Angelique - January 26, 2015 - 1:22 pm

Oh my goodness! I love those night tree ones!!! Beautifully cool!

Gavinn Richard :: 6 years

Dear Gavinn,

I was standing in the kitchen of this house, on Memorial Day, when your mommy told me she was pregnant with you. I remember that day so very clearly; we had a fire in the side yard and your mommy and daddy had come out to Uncle Nick’s house to hang out with us for the day {though, at this point he wasn’t your ‘Uncle’…yet}.

We had no idea how to prepare for you; the first niece or nephew for ‘us’ as your cousin was born before Uncle Nick entered the scene. However, that proved to be an easy task for loving a niece or a nephew comes second nature, as simply as breathing or sleeping. There’s no thought process involved. It just…happens.

As you grew in mommy’s tummy, we grew to love you more and more…even before you were on this Earth, you were so very loved.

Luckily for me and for mommy, I was going to photography school and needed a model for lighting projects, various class assignments and, well, I had a professional-grade studio at my fingertips… Yes…there are lots of photos to document your growth those 9 months…We sure had a great time playing around while you grew in mommy’s tummy.

I also clearly remember the day you were born. I was house-sitting for Uncle Nick’s parents {now my in-laws!} and the phone rang so very early in the morning. Mommy was ready to go to the hospital in Burnsville…it was time. We waited for what seemed like ages at the hospital while mommy tried to stay comfortable. Daddy and I went to the hospital cafeteria to finally get breakfast around 8:30 in the morning…and then got the call to come back to the room as things finally started to progress. You were ready to make your appearance, dear baby!

Well…sort of. Like most of your life with us, you made mommy work for it. Two hours of pushing in active labor before you finally greeted us with a wail at 11:33am. I’ll never forget the way your mommy cried, your grandmas smiled and your daddy fell to the pillow beside mommy when the doctor said, ‘it’s a boy’.

Never, for as long as I live.

You went without a name for a little while, but that was okay. All good things come to those who wait and you, dear nephew, are a very good thing. Your thoughtful nature and curiosity for everything is never-ending. Your knack for quizzical smiles and out-of-the-blue one-liners leaves us all smiling if not in fits of laughter. I’ll forever think of you when I purchase a bunch of ci-ranch-ro, pull out my Christmas decorations or enjoy a root beer float {or hot chocolate or have a tea party}. You’re always up for a rousing game of Gavinn Taco, Gavinn Burrito or Gavinn Breakfast Sandwhich and I absolutely adore your imagination and love for fairies, Christmas and all things magical.

See, dear godson, you make our lives a happier place by just being in them. Simply by being you. You’re a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day; a pocket of hope for the future. We never knew how much we needed you until you were here and now none of us could possibly imagine a life without you.

I love you, dear boy. Happy sixth birthday.

Love,
Auntie

Tawna - January 21, 2015 - 4:49 pm

She sure does have a way with words…brings me to tears every
time!!

Jen - January 21, 2015 - 4:25 pm

Brought tears to my eyes you have such a way with words. I absolutely love the pic of when Gavin was first born, Tawna crying #priceless

in search of the silver lining

So…this month has gone completely awry in the world of me. <wow, dramatic much?!> Last night I dropped a raw chicken breast in the kitchen sink and couldn’t stop laughing for fear if I did, I’d cry. We’re 21 days in and it’s been a trying 21 days at that. I started to exercise and change a few terrible eating habits {anyone else a nighttime snacker?! Ugh-so hard to break! I love popcorn! And bite size candy! And four glasses of wine! And peanut M&Ms! And anything else I can get my lazy, grazey fingers on!}…mentally taxing, my friends. I’ve watched a select handful of dear family and good friends get the proverbial bomb dropped on them with less than stellar health or relationship news {self-destructive and otherwise}, hurling them into the scary world of the unknown, forcing them to be stronger than ever before for themselves and everybody else. Which makes my website crashing {twice this year already!}, unfinished house projects and severe lack of matching socks seem like trivial sesame seeds in the Big Mac of life.

2015…you’re proving to be one tricky little SOB…

But in the face of everything that’s seemingly going wrong, there’s always a silver lining. Always. There has to be. For every negative there needs to be a positive. Perhaps not equal, but still present. I’ve been able to log more actual face-to-face or over-the-phone time with family and friends than I’ve been able to in the longest time; that feels so good. I realized that I still remember how to write a tiny bit of code, just enough to be able to fix my website the first time around; holy smokes, I actually retained something from college! Not snacking at night has allowed me to free up my grubby fingers for more awesome things like reading, puzzling or tea-drinking; I’ve been sleeping like a damn rock. Watching my family and friends face adversity and rise up to meet the challenge has been heart wrenching, unbelievably moving, inspiring, strengthening…amazing; I have kick-ass family and friends who are so strong…they have no idea. Inspiring. I found I have tenacious support in the guy by my side that I never really realized or thought about before; he’s pretty cool…I’m the lucky one.

I write this post not to complain or air dirty laundry {seriously, where do the socks go?!}, but to send it out there. Vibes in the universe, from my heart to your screen. Things aren’t always downstream swimming for everyone…every once in a great while it’s required to fight the current, do a little work, get a little messy, be a little tired, feel a little crappy. In turn, the reaping of the good days is that much sweeter, that much more deserved.

So…here’s to not giving up nor giving in. Diving in, getting dirty, finding the fun, becoming a steadfast fortress of positive thinking and action in the face of challenge. Fighting, winning, remembering, moving on to a better time.

{a fav from our book-inspired senior session this fall}

Andy, Heidi, Casey, Cole :: Family

Hey there and happy Monday! Waking up to snow flakes drifting about is simply magical, wouldn’t you agree? Unfortunately it seems our little snow shower has ended withing a matter of minutes, but it was fun while it lasted. I’m getting a titch tired of this sore brown landscape dotted with snow…just a Minnesota girl longing for the deep-snowy winters of long ago years’ past, I suppose. When school was closed because the buses couldn’t get through on the roads, not because it was too cold. I remember one time when our bus slide backward off a steep hill and we had to be pulled out by a neighbors tractor. That’s a true story.

Regardless of the present conditions outside, it has been warming my heart to look back and these beautiful colors {and people!} of this fall. And I can say that because this family is not only awesome on so many levels, but they’re also family.;-)Casey’s imagination paired with Cole’s never-disappearing smile made for a hilariously energetic session as we romped around the family grounds. A little bit of golden sun and burnt leaves never hurt anyone either…

Arielle & Zach :: Married

The look on her face as she got ready that morning…said it all. The luminosity in her dark expressive eyes cut through the uncomfortably dense humidity that hung heavily around the church that morning. The lightness of the way she donned her dress quieted the ladies in the room into hushed words of admiration, warm smiles, happy sighs, joyful tears. Taking a deep breath, her father lowered the veil over her head, lovingly squeezed her arm and escorted her steadily down the aisle.

Promises were made, laughs were had, loving glances and rings exchanged and the walked out of the church as husband and wife.

And then they partied.
<best wedding entertainment. ever.>

krissy - January 15, 2015 - 7:04 am

Fantastic!!

The other one - January 10, 2015 - 12:09 am

sometimes as i read your words and scroll through your pictures… the words, the thoughts, and the emotions- that i feel -happen so fast that it is impossible to encapsulate them. I am so amazed and impressed by your growth and ability that it is impossible to express, in our limited language, what i mean to say. This session is an example of that very thought process. I am amazed at how you were able to capture, through pictures , the very intensity and emotional presence of this event. I cannot put a finger on the difference but wow, you have arrived and it is phenomenal.